I have always dreamed of running through one of the Disney Parks during a runDisney event, but come on, I only pretend to “run!” I always thought the Disney Princess Half Marathon would be my first runDisney event, but then the rumors started flying about a Star Wars event in Disneyland… My hidden “geek” started shining through, and I couldn’t fight it. When the official announcement came out that the Star Wars Half was going to be held in January at Disneyland, I was ecstatic! The dates perfectly lined up with our move, and we would already have our annual passes. The hard part was trying to decide if hubby and I were going to do the half marathon or the 10k… Remember I only pretend to run, but my hubby runs all the time and he could totally do a half marathon. After much thought, once registration opened, early registration because we’re Disney Vacation Club members, I opted to go for the 10k for our first runDisney event.
I have heard that runDisney expos can get crazy, and that many items sell out very fast. I will admit I was very anxious, since the expo opened Thursday and we were not going to get there until Friday afternoon sometime. We checked into our motel Friday afternoon, and ran off to the expo as soon as we arrived in Anaheim. I was shocked at how organized everything seemed to be, and how low the crowds were. We went back that evening, and again it wasn’t crazy busy like everyone has claimed it gets. (Not sure if this was just a fluke, but I wasn’t complaining!) We were able to get all the official race goodies we wanted, including the highly sought after Star Wars Dooney and Burke purse. I do know that some of the official race items, like the “I Did It” t-shirts, pins, and some other items started selling out Saturday and Sunday.
DIStracted Tip: If any of these items are on your “must have” list, try to get there early in the weekend!
When we first signed up I had this great vision of the costumes we would wear, but like with everything else life seemed to butt in, and nothing got created. I ended up ordering a Chewbacca dress for myself, and a t-shirt for my husband off of Amazon. I was happy with them, but I will do better for the runDisney Avengers Super Hero Half! I was super impressed with some of the thought and time people put into their costumes not only for the 10k, but for all the races this past weekend. Even if you’re not a runner, if you ever catch yourself at Disneyland or Walt Disney World while a runDisney event is going on definitely make a point of being a spectator even if it’s just to see the elaborate costumes!
On the morning of the 10k, I was so excited I could barely sleep… Which was a good thing, I guess, since we had to be up around 4 in the morning! By the time we headed out the motel door, my excitement turned into a bundle of nerves. We got into our corral about an hour early; well at least we thought it was our corral… We were supposed to be in “D” corral (ok, I was supposed to be in “D”, and my husband was supposed to be in “B”, but he stayed back with me), but we ended up in “E” corral by mistake. We didn’t figure out our mistake until it was too late, and let me tell you I was worried about getting swept! runDisney requires you to keep a 16 minute mile pace, and let me tell you I was super worried about this, since I hadn’t really trained for this race. Luckily, once we started running, I was fueled by adrenaline. We ran through Disneyland Resort just as the sun was starting to light the sky, and it was absolute magic! We then ran through Disney’s California Adventure with mile 5 being as we exited CarsLand, and finished the most amazing, out of this galaxy, 6.2 miles at the Disneyland Hotel. We ended up averaging a pace of 15:29 minute mile, and this was with stopping for a few pictures along the way! As sore as I was later that night, and the next day, I wouldn’t have changed anything even if I could. It was everything I imagined it would be, and more.
DIStracted Tip: If you are interested in participating in the next runDisney Star Wars event to be held January 14 – 17, 2016, you can register on June 16, 2015.